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Joe Kim (989)

Forming Impressions Video Lecture Psych 1X03.docx

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Joe Kim

Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Forming Impressions Introduction  Your vast experience in social interactions allows you to make automatic judgments to categorize the personality and behaviour of others, which in turn can influence how you judge your own actions and beliefs  The conscious and unconscious judgment you make lead to “social perceptions” which influence how you interpret your behaviour and the behaviours of individuals and groups  Its difficult to accurately attribute intentions to observed actions because for every observed behaviour, there are many possible motivating factors Attributional Theories  You can gain a lot of information about a person by simply observing their behaviour  How you ultimately interpret the behaviour may lead you to form an impression that may or may not accurately reflect the circumstances  Observed behaviour can be due to a personality trait that is fixed or the present situation the person is currently facing o Eg/ Supermarket and observe a mother and child engaging in a loud shouting match Mother is an impatient person or she hasn’t gotten much sleep so she is irritable  Automatic judgments about a person influence how you think, feel and behave toward said person  Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory o You actively analyze a persons behaviour to make inferences based on three variables 1. Degree of Choice  To understand why a person is behaviour in a particular way, it helps to know if said person chose to act in the observed behaviour in question  Eg/ Person debating in class on the side of the death penalty – did they choose to be on that side and actually support the death penalty or were they assigned to that team  Eg/ You develop strong emotional feelings for or against a movie actor who you assume is really that romantic or really that slimy in real life 2. Expectation  Considers how expected a particular behaviour is  Uncommon behaviour gives us a lot more information than common behaviour  If someone behaves in a way typical to what you would expect form them, you do not have any reason to infer an underlying cause to their behaviour 3. The Intended Consequence of the Behaviour  Eg/ If a tobacco company sponsors a commercial that advocates lower smoking levels – intention probably is to appear as a caring corporate citizen  Kelley’s Covariation Theory o Predicts how you determine if a given behaviour is due to an individuals personal disposition or the situation and circumstances o Three variables are considered to determine if a behaviour is dispositional or situational  Consistency – does the individual usually behave this way?  Eg/ Chris is having trouble with his computer – is it due to Chris or the computer itself? Is Chris usually unable to get his computer to work?  Distinctiveness – does the individual behave differently in different situations  Yes  the given behaviour is probably driven by the situation Video Lecture Psych 1X03  No  the given behaviour is probably driven by his disposition  Eg/ Does Chris have trouble with other computers or just this one? If he has problems with every computer – problem is likely due to the factor on his end If he only has trouble with this particular computer – problem is specific to machine  Consensus – do others behave similarly in this situation  Yes  behaviour is probably due to situational factors, because everyone’s behaviour is similarly influenced by this situation  No  different behaviours observed in a given situation are likely due to each individuals particular disposition  Eg/ Does everyone have trouble with Chris’s computer or just him? If everyone has trouble – the problem is likely due to the computer The Fundamental Attribution Error  When you are trying to interpret the underlying cause of behaviour in others, you often overestimate the role of dispositional factors and underestimate the role of situational factors o Eg/ Imagine driving in rush-hour traffic and getting cut off by another car – do you think that this person is a terrible driver or that the driver is probably late for an important meeting – you probably explain his behaviour by assuming he is an aggressive and inconsiderate driver  Fundamental Attribution Error – Tendency to over value dispositional actors for the observed behaviours of others with under-valuing situational factors o Guides you interpretation of the behaviours of others o Ross – presented an influential argument for the place of the FAE in social psychology; Jones found this statement overly provocative and somewhat misleading, but agreed  The Actor/Observer Effect o Assume behaviour of others primarily due to dispositional factors o Consider the situational factors for your own behaviour  Cultural Differences o American 15 year olds and adults made more attributions as a result of personal factors than situational factors o Americans tend to make more personal/dispositional attributions o Indian 15 year olds and adults made more attributions to situational factors than personal factors o Data suggests that there are cultural difference in the fundamental attribution error o Morris and Peng (1994) – compared attributions made by Chinese and American graduate students  American students – more likely to make the fundamental attribution error  The fundamental attribution error is diminished in collectivist societies where there is less focus on individual behaviour and more focus on relationships and roles in society o Observational Studies Video Lecture Psych 1X03  American Olympic Gold medal winners – attribute gold winning to their determination and talent  Japanese gild medal winners attribute god winning to the success of the coaching team and organization  Self-Serving Bias – tendency to perceive yourself favorably o Fundamental attribution error and actor-observer effect can lead to examples of self-serving bias in a specific context which can lead to errors o “Above Average Effect” – causes you
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